Work Life Balance: For Self Care and Creativity, Take a Walk

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 5th, 2014

Recent research shows that walking boosts creative thinking. Stanford University in California compared levels of creativity in people while they walked with while they sat, and they discovered creative output went up by an average of 60% while walking.

Many people claim that they come up with their best ideas during walks. Steve Jobs, late co-founder of Apple, used to hold meetings while walking, and Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, does the same.

Now, Stanford’s researchers explain why. They found that the act of walking itself, whether indoors or outdoors, boosts creative inspiration. In one experiment, they found that compared with sitting down, walking indoors on a treadmill facing a blank wall or walking outdoors in the fresh air produced twice as many creative responses. In another experiment they discovered that walking outside resulted in 100% of participants generating at least one high-quality complex analogy, compared with only 50% when sitting indoors.

walking for work life balance and creativityOne of the key questions to investigate will be to determine if it is just walking, or any form of mild physical activity, that effects creativity.

This study is proof that integrating bouts of physical activity into the day, whether walking at home with family, or turning a meeting at work into a walking one, makes us healthier, and more creative.

To learn more tools for self care, caring for the minds, bodies and spirits of your caregivers, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to talk about bringing this life-changing program to your staff!

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